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The leaves are turning, the air is cooler, and you know what that means? It’s Fundraising Season!

Lots of nonprofits are ramping up their fundraising efforts and asking for donations, and rightfully so – it’s the best time of year for it.

If you’re not asking for a gift between now and the end of the year, you’re conspicuously absent. And you’ll get left out.

No one ever wakes up in the morning and says “I feel like giving some money away. Wonder if there’s a nonprofit I could give to?”

The responsibility is yours. It’s YOUR job to build the relationship and stay in touch. It’s YOUR job to ask for the gift.

By now, you should have your appeal all figured out. If you’re planning to mail a letter, it should already be on its way. But just in case you don’t, here are some tips you can follow to get the most from your fourth-quarter appeal.

  1. Clean up your mailing list. Don’t send your appeal to people who don’t want to hear from you anymore. A clean list, with the most current email and mailing addresses, will save you money and help you be more accurate in donor communications.
  2. Review past performance. How well have your past appeals done? How much did you raise? What was the average gift size? How about the response rate? Knowing these numbers can help you choose the right segments and lists to approach now.
  3. Be donor-focused. Don’t write an appeal that’s all about you. Don’t talk about how great the year was or how challenging it’s been – no one wants to hear that. Instead, tell a story about someone whose life has been changed by the work your nonprofit does. It’s way more interesting and engaging.
  4. Write to one person. As you write your appeal, don’t think about the hundreds of people who will receive it. Instead, picture one donor in your mind, and write to that one person. Your letter will be way more conversational and interesting.
  5. Outsource if needed. Don’t try to print and mail your appeal internally if you don’t have the resources. You’ll actually save money in the long run by having a reputable mail house prepare and send your appeal.
  6. Measure, measure, measure. Tag either the response card or the envelope if you’re sending a hard copy letter, or use a trackable link for an e-appeal so you’ll know if your ask worked or not. You need to measure response rate (the % of people who gave compared to the total number you asked) and average gift size at a minimum. There’s nothing worse than going to all the trouble to produce and send an appeal and not knowing if it was worth it.
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If you only had time to spend with just one donor, who would it be?

I bet you immediately thought about your top donor – the person who gives the most to your nonprofit.

If so, you’re about average. You’re just like everyone else who understands the 80/20 rule and how time should be spent with donors capable of making the biggest gifts.

What about everyone else? Don’t their gifts matter? Won’t some of them eventually become major donors, too?

There’s a HUGE inequality in how we treat our donors.

 

The Inequality of Attention

People who have historically given the biggest donations get all the attention. Other donors get scraps of your time, if anything. I call this the Inequality of Attention and it’s rampant across the nonprofit sector.

It’s born out of the notion that people who give the most money deserve the most time so that they feel adequately appreciated. There’s nothing wrong with that. Except that most people get so focused on their major donors that they almost ignore the rest of their donors.

I believe this is the root cause of the huge donor retention problem we’re seeing. This is what’s causing people to give once or twice then move on to another nonprofit.

Every dollar counts, doesn’t it? Doesn’t every gift matter?bigstock Balance 30579422 250x183 Should major donors really get all the love?

It certainly does when you’re looking at the budget. When you need money to keep the lights on, every bit is important. But when it comes to building relationships, there’s a definite inequality.

Let me tell you about Carol.

Carol is retired, a widow, and living on a fixed income. She’s given $50 to you every year for the past 5 years. She cares deeply about your cause. But unless she’s left you a big gift in her will, you’ll probably never realize the level of her commitment.

She’s flying under the radar. She may have way more that she could bring to the table if she just felt a little more connected to your organization. She might be the best volunteer you ever had or have strong connections with people who could make game-changing donations.

Doesn’t she deserve the same level of respect and gratitude as the person who gives $5,000 a year? Shouldn’t she get the same kind of appreciation and feel just as valued?

Most people doing fundraising are too busy to care. Or too busy to take the time to think through the things they can do to make a meaningful difference to each and every donor, especially those like Carol.

There have been many times that I have made significant gifts to nonprofits. Okay, they were significant gifts to me. Many were stretch gifts to causes that I whole-heartedly believed in. And nearly every time, I was disappointed when I barely got any thanks at all for my contribution. No recognition. No engagement. No deposits in the emotional bank account. I was just one of hundreds, and I felt it loud and clear.

Why do you think some people believe their gift won’t matter? It’s because they haven’t received any reason to think they DO matter.

Guess whose job it is to help them feel good about their donation and believe that they matter?

Yep. You.

If you don’t do something, who will? I know for a fact that if you don’t help them feel good about their experience of giving to your nonprofit, they’ll move on to the next nonprofit that looks interesting.

 

Giving is an emotional act.

The first gift is given in response to an emotional stirring someone feels. And it’s a test. If you pass, they’ll give again. If you fail, they’re gone.

People need to feel good about their experience with you. They need confirmation that they made the right decision to give your nonprofit money. They need to believe your nonprofit is trustworthy.

And it’s your job, nonprofit fundraiser, to help them get and keep those feelings.

Otherwise, they’ll go find another nonprofit that seems like they’re trustworthy, doing good work, and worthy of a donation.

With limited time in the day, the question becomes how do you give people a good experience and help them feel good about giving when you have to do it on a mass scale? How do you build trust when you’re not working one-on-one but one-to-many?

Donor retention numbers are horrible. If you’re keeping 30% of your donors from one year to the next, that’s considered good. (I think it’s horrible!)

Donor acquisition is expensive. Most nonprofits lose money trying to bring new donors on board.

Doesn’t it make more sense to spend time loving on current donors to keep them from leaving? Isn’t it much more efficient to slow down long enough to create a strategy for communication that strengthens the relationship and gives our donors a sense of confidence in us?

I think it does. I believe if you do what it takes to increase the positive feelings a donor has about their interaction with you, you’ll see a significant increase in retention and in total giving.

 

ICAN formula

Whose job is it to build relationships with donors? Yours. Can it be done one-to-many? Yes, it can.

Think about the last time you saw a commercial on TV or a video online that moved you so much you cried. It wasn’t done in a one-to-one format, was it? It was done one-to-many. It was created to give you the viewer a particular experience, then shared in a mass way. It was created with a single person in mind, and the emotional impact was likely felt by you and everyone else who saw it.

You can do this, too. You can give ALL your donors the experience of feeling valued and wanted, without getting face-to-face with every single one.

It takes strategy, planning, and a true understanding of your donors’ needs and wants. It takes time and some thought.

Let me give you a good starting place.

Here are four steps you can take to strengthen the bond, build trust, and ultimately keep people giving longer. All of these can be done one-to-many, and they will require you to slow down long enough to really plan everything out. Good relationships are never built in a hurry. They require thoughtfulness and effort.

Inspire. People need to feel something before they will give. Chances are good your nonprofit is doing amazing, heart-warming work. You’re changing lives (maybe even saving them) and if your nonprofit ceased to exist, it would leave a huge void.

So, share your story. Tell your supporters about the woman who couldn’t get to her kidney dialysis appointments if it weren’t for your transportation program. Talk about the 16-year old who would never learn how to hold down a job if it weren’t for your job skills training program. Share the struggle of a family living in squalor and what it means to them to have a shot at owning their own home. Talk more about why your nonprofit does what it does and less about how it gets done.  Should major donors really get all the love?

Confidence. People need to feel confident that your nonprofit can do the work you’re trying to do, that you can manage the money they give you, and that your people are trustworthy.

So, build confidence for your donor. This is not the time for an ego trip about how great and wonderful your nonprofit is. Trust is built is quieter ways. It’s built in openness. Ask people over for a tour. Invite donors to sit in on your Board meetings. Offer to share your financial statements. Give them the phone number and/or email of a specific staff person they can reach out to if they have ANY questions.

Openness builds trust and confidence. Show your supporters you have nothing to hide and everything to share.

Action. The more people get involved with you, the more connected they’ll feel. So, invite them to take action. When people volunteer and see first-hand the work your nonprofit is doing, they will start to see themselves as a part of the team. Listen for the pronouns to change – they’ll start saying “we could…” instead of “you should…”

Give people the opportunity to get involved. Offer plenty of ways they can volunteer that fit into their busy schedule. Invite them to serve on a committee if that interests them.

Invite them to take action that’s worth taking. Think about how millions of people jumped on board with the Ice Bucket Challenge this summer. It was something they could do and it was fun.

Not everyone will take you up on the chance to get more involved, but they’ll remember that you offered. It’s important and it builds trust.

Nurture. In order for relationships to grow, they must be nurtured. And nurturing is your job. You’re in charge of the care and feeding of your donors. It’s up to you to engage them and draw them closer.

Nurturing doesn’t happen by chance, and it’ll never happen when you’re operating in reactive mode. Create a plan for staying in touch with your donors and keeping them in the loop about the outcomes your programs are getting.

 

It’s time to stop ignoring donors.

You can engage people through newsletters and social media. You can help donors feel good about their experience through acknowledgment and stewardship.

It takes a conscious decision to do it, followed by a thoughtful plan of action.

Should your major donors get all the love? Nah, you’ve got enough for everyone. Spread that stuff around.

Keyboard with Donate Button.

I’m all about getting creative to find new donors.

Heck, I spend a lot of time helping people brainstorm ways to find new donors.

But sometimes you can cross a line.

People who have used your service might make great candidates to make a donation.

But not always. Let me share a real-life story.

My friend Michelle shared her experience with me recently, and frankly it made me mad.

You see, Michelle was diagnosed with breast cancer a couple of months ago. It was a shock to her and her friends and family. (I don’t think we’re ever prepared to hear something like that.) Oddly enough, her husband was diagnosed with cancer too, within a couple of weeks of hers. They were both pretty scared, as you can imagine, yet faced it with a lot of grace and courage. They were scared for themselves and for their two young boys, because even though lots of people get treated and make full recoveries, it’s a whole different thing when it’s you or someone you love.

So, he had his procedure, then a couple of weeks later, she had hers.

As you can imagine, it was a big upheaval in their home for both of them to have major health issues so close together. And even with insurance, they had LOTS of out-of-pocket expenses.

Then one day, Michelle was MAD. Like ‘wet hen’ mad. Here are her words:

A little rant here. I have raised funds for non profits for over twenty years. Sometimes successfully, and sometimes I’m told “no” or “not right now.” That’s part of the job.

One of the most important tools for fundraising is building the relationship with the potential donor. This can be quick or might take months or even years–think million dollar bequest. In this relationship process the fundraiser must walk very carefully until she learns what the potential donor needs and wants in an agency before he writes the check.

Okay, so I’ve just been repeatedly subjected to every way you SHOULD NOT approach a donor.

I assume my name (and Michael’s) has been put on a list somewhere as being a new cancer patient or survivor. And that’s fine.

But you see, dozens of cancer agencies are now asking me to give to them.

Okay. Makes sense, right? Wrong.

Their approach is to tell me everything they do: Financial aid for patients, transportation to treatment, wigs and surgical bras, etc. and they want me to give so they can help other women, children or men.

That’s all fine, but you see, not once did any of these agencies ask if I needed help. I’m lucky that my husband can drive me places and that I don’t need a wig. However, between Michael and I, we have a lot of medical bills.

Now I’m not asking for help! (Unless someone wants to plan a motorcycle ride for fun, right?) Michael and I are being frugal and will eventually be fine. But we are not in a position to make donations.

These cancer groups should have done their homework. (And it’s not ALL cancer groups–I don’t want you to think so. Some have been very respectful). But I can tell you I’m currently feeling rather angry and hurt.

Which does not bode well for my future check-writing to these organizations.

Really? What sense does that make for a cancer nonprofit to approach random people who have fresh diagnosis or are still in treatment, to solicit donations? If you ask me, it’s insensitive and VERY ego-centric. Those organizations are so focused on their numbers and hitting their revenue budget that they haven’t stopped to think about the PEOPLE and their situations.

Honestly, this has got to stop.

Nonprofit leaders have got to slow down long enough to THINK about what they’re doing, who they’re approaching, and what they’re saying.

No wonder donor acquisition numbers are so horrible – it’s all about blanketing a large group of people with a narrowly-focused request, and without enough research into the current situations of the target audience.

Now, since you’re here reading this, I know you’re smarter than the average bear. But please, go back and re-look at how you’re doing donor acquisition.  Make sure you’re putting the relationship in front of the request. Make sure you’re spending enough time understanding your audience and taking the necessary steps to build relationships.

mercygroundbreaking

Nancy Stanley cares about helping other people, especially those who have nowhere else to turn.

In fact, she helped start Mercy Medical Clinic to provide free medical services to people in need in the Vidalia, GA area.

Even though she didn’t know a lot about running a nonprofit or fundraising, she was willing to give it a shot.

After asking people to help for a couple of years, she got a reputation for asking. “It bothered me a little” Nancy said. “I thought about it and decided to change my thinking. I realized it wasn’t about me – it was about the people we serve. Since I wanted to help more people, I was willing to keep asking.”
Nancy embarked on a fundraising campaign to support the activities of the growing clinic.

“I decided to approach 100 people and ask for $100 each. The first guy said “When is this going to stop?” The next 10 were happy to give. One even thanked me for asking.  I learned from Sandy that the first guy isn’t really our donor. Our donors are happy to support us and the work we’re doing.”
“I also learned that many people want to give. They just need to be asked.” Nancy understood an important principle of good fundraising – you can’t sit back and wait for the donor to come find you, you have to go find them.
As the organization grew, Nancy realized they needed more space. So she started looking for a new home for Mercy Clinic. She also started thinking about donors who would give to a big capital project.

On one of our coaching calls, I helped Nancy pull together a list of donor prospects who could make big gifts toward the project. We talked through the process of researching each donor, and she narrowed down the list to just one man who she felt really certain could and would make a significant donation.

“The donor I had in mind for a lead gift to our campaign had given several times before, with the largest gift being $3,000. I started telling him more about what we did. I showed him some patient videos and helped him really KNOW what we do.”

Nancy was inspired by another charity’s success in fundraising. “I saw another nonprofit in our community get a million dollar gift, and I decided I wanted that too.  I prayed about it, and this donor was on my heart and mind. I knew he was the right one to talk to.”

After some cultivation, I coached Nancy through the actual Ask conversation. We talked through several scenarios, crafting answers to a variety of questions he might ask.

“When it was time, I approached the donor and made a very personal Ask with a naming opportunity for his family. I was thrilled when he said ‘I can do that’.” Needless to say, we ALL did the Happy Dance!

 Million Dollar Gift in a Small, Rural Community

“What was really amazing was that on December 31st, he made a $50,000 gift that came with a note saying “this is not part of my campaign pledge. I just wanted to give you this.”

What a nice year-end gift!

“He said that he gives a lot every year to different charities, and that he never knows where his money goes. He feels good giving to us because he knows at we do with his money. I believe every donor wants to know what happened with their donation. It helps them feel connected.” Oh, and this donor has decided he’s only going to support Mercy Clinic now! That’s relationship building at its best!

Nancy and her staff have become very donor-focused and are very consciously building donor relationships. “People need to give on their terms. If they want to give monthly, let them do that. If they’d rather give quarterly, let them do that. Don’t try to put the square peg in the round hole.”

They’re also working to get their Board on Board. Fundraising training for Board members starts this week.

Advice to those embarking on major gifts

“I try to put myself in the donor’s shoes. I ask myself ‘what would keep me giving?’ Personally, I want to give where I feel like my money is being used well. So we do our best to help people feel good about their gift to us and we keep them informed about what we’re doing.”

Here are several great pieces of advice Nancy has for those thinking of making a big Ask:

  1. “Remember that it’s not about you. It’s about the program and people you’re helping.”
  2. “You must Ask. Give the donor the opportunity to give and watch what happens. You have nothing to lose by Asking.”
  3. “Lots of people out there are looking for a place to give. Give it to them. They get the privilege of joining with you to do good work.”
  4. “Don’t ever think that people don’t want to give. They do.”

What Nancy has accomplished at Mercy Clinic is remarkable. And yet, it’s the kind of thing that can be done by anyone who is committed to changing lives.

When you put your fear aside and follow the principles of donor-based fundraising, you can raise all the money you need.

The Plan Industrial Details, A Ruler, Caliper, Divider And A Red

You wouldn’t build a house without a blueprint.

You wouldn’t cook a new dish without a recipe.

You wouldn’t take a road trip without a map.

Why should your fundraising be any different?

Trust me when I say ‘spray and pray’ is NOT an effective strategy for raising money. You can’t throw something out to the whole community and hope that someone responds. You need a carefully planned strategy, especially if you are committed to the lives you serve.

Everyone I’ve ever talked to about planning knows they need one. So why don’t more people create and use a plan?

“It takes just as much time to wish as it does to plan” Eleanor Roosevelt

I think there are several reasons people don’t plan. See if any of these sound familiar.

  • “I don’t have time.” Many fundraisers are too busy, doing all kinds of things that chew up their day, leaving them no time to think or strategize.
  • “I don’t know where to start.” Most people need to have a framework to work within. They can’t visualize where to start without some guidance. A sample would be very helpful!
  • “I’ll be fine. I’ll figure it out as I go.” This was me. I was sure I could handle anything that popped up along the way. The problem was that this left me in reactive mode all the time, which was not a good place to raise money from.
  • “I’ll just do what I’ve always done.” If you’re happy with the results you’ve gotten in the past, this is fine. But if you want to raise more money, you’ve GOT to think differently, and you need a plan to navigate new waters.

The best time to create a fundraising plan is yesterday. The second best time is today.

I know you’re super busy, and carving out time can be a problem. But you MUST if you really want to raise more money. Actually, it’s the ONLY way you’re going to raise more money.

So, where do you start?

Every good fundraising plan begins with the result you want. You need to know

  • How much money you want to raise
  • How many donors you want to renew
  • How many new donors you want to acquire

Once you have your goals set, it’s time to choose strategies. Decide what works best for you in your situation, and commit to it. I like to see organizations going after grants, doing one good special event (ONE!), and then focusing on individual donors through a combination of mail, email, and face-to-face asks. Again, pick what works for you, not what the nonprofit down the street is doing.

As you plan for the individual strategies you want to use, get clear about

  • How it will work
  • Why you want to do it
  • The outcome you want
  • The resources you’ll need
  • How much time it will take
  • Who will see it through to completion
  • How you’ll evaluate success

Put it all in writing. If it’s not documented, it’s not real.

“A vision without a plan is just a hallucination.”

And that, my friends, is how you do a quick-and-dirty fundraising plan.

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Student swamped under paperwork
Do you ever feel like you just can’t keep up? Like you’re drowning in fundraising information?
Every day, there are new articles to read, videos to watch, and tricks to learn. There are tips to master and checklists to download and use.If you’re like most people, you do the best you can to read the latest stuff so you don’t get left behind as the world passes you by.It’s called information overload and it’s a real problem. Especially for those of us working in fundraising.“In the last 30 years, mankind has produced more information than in the previous 5,000.This is a statistic from a 1997 Reuters Magazine article entitled, Information Overload Causes Stress. That was years ago, and it’s only getting worse.My theory is that if you’re a heart-centered fundraiser and you’re passionate about your cause, you want to do the best job you can because you deeply care about the people your nonprofit serves.

So you try to stay on top of industry trends and learn all you can.

Except that you can’t. There’s just too much out there.

More isn’t always better.

I bet this has happened to you. It happens to me all the time.

You’re reading something and all of a sudden you realize you have no idea what you just read. Or you’re in a meeting, and you zone out, only to be brought back to life when someone asks you a question, and you have no idea what the discussion has been about.

We’re overfilling our minds with information (especially fundraising info) without allowing ourselves enough time to process and assimilate it. Then we get headaches and feel crappy, and can’t figure out why.

So what can you do? Here are some tips to help you manage your data overload.

  1. Let go of info gluttony. You may be operating with the belief that the more you know, the more money you can raise. While it’s true that you need to sharpen the saw so you can stay sharp, you have to manage the quality and the amount of what goes in. Mediocre advice won’t help you, so become choosy about what you take in.
  2. Focus on what you need to master right now.  There’s no need to read or watch or listen to stuff that doesn’t move you forward NOW. Get clear on the thing you most need help with right now, and only absorb that kind of info. For example, if you’re working on your Fall appeal, then reading a few good articles on what to include or how to clean up your data can be helpful and timely. Once you’ve completed the current project, pick something else to focus on. You’ll be much happier working on one thing at a time.
  3. Jump off the “me too” bandwagon. Just because everyone else is doing something doesn’t mean you need to do it, too. For example, you may think “everyone” is raising money on Facebook and you need to be there, too, or you’ll miss out. The truth is that you only need to be on Facebook if that’s where your best donors and prospects are hanging out. There’s no need to learn all you can about social media if you have low-hanging fruit somewhere else.
  4. Know when you’ve had enough. Self awareness is a wonderful thing. You need to know when you’ve absorbed all you can. I can manage a couple of hours a day of reading and learning, and after that, I’m toast. I hit a point of diminishing returns, and the time I spend trying to learn more is wasted.

As a society, we’re overwhelmed, frustrated, and tired. We’re trying so hard to keep up, and for many, it’s a losing battle. It impacts our quality of life, our ability to effectively participate in relationships, and our impact on those around us.

It’s time to prioritize what information we consume. It’s time to be choosy about where we get our info. And it’s time to train ourselves to focus on the things that really matter.

So here’s what I suggest:

  • Pick a couple of experts to follow and learn from, and stop following those who don’t consistently give you good stuff. I’m unsubscribing from lots of newsletters right now, because having 50 emails in my inbox every few hours sucks my energy.
  • Become an Energy Guardian for yourself. Notice what pulls you down energetically (like a too-full inbox) and work to eliminate those things.
  • Do those things that fall within your unique brilliance, and stop doing things you aren’t any good at. There’s no point in trying to raise up your areas of weakness. Instead, focus on making your strengths even better, and get help with the stuff you aren’t good at.

Just because there are thousands of articles, videos, and podcasts out there doesn’t mean you need to expose yourself to all of them.

Mark Twain meme

Being able to clearly describe what your nonprofit does is crucial to raising funds and gathering support.

People need to understand what you do and it needs to strike a chord in their heart before they’ll reach for their wallet.

Unfortunately, most people haven’t spent the time to refine their message.

Instead of sharing something that stirs the listener’s heart and soul, they regurgitate a long, boring, memorized spiel that’s way too focused on the organization. It’s “us, us, us, we, we, we.” It’s ego-centric and it doesn’t work. Who wants to hear that?

If you’re serious about raising more money and deepening donor relationships, you have to carve out the time to work on this.

Here’s an exercise I often do in workshops.

Think about what you say when someone asks “What does your nonprofit do?” Grab a pen and jot it down.

Now, try it again, and use half the number of words.

If you’re sucking in air, I understand.

It’s not as easy as it sounds to be brief. MemeCenter 1410889842581 462 250x153 6 Words to Bridge the Heart Wallet Connection

In fact, it’s hard work to create something concise and inspiring to say.

Mark Twain, the great American writer, knew this. In fact, he said “If you want me to give you a two-hour presentation, I’m ready today. If you want a 5-minute speech, I’ll need two weeks to prepare.”

How much time are you currently spending preparing the words you share with donors and prospects?

If you’re like most people, you aren’t spending any time at all.  You’re using whatever pops you’re your head at the moment.

If you’re lucky, it resonates with your audience. If not, you’re boring them to tears.

Hmmm. Might need to spend a little more time on it, huh?

Back to the exercise. Got your half-sized introduction?

Good. Cut it in half again. I’m serious!

You should be down to just a few words. These few words will help you bridge the heart-wallet connection.

Want a challenge? Try figuring out what to say about your nonprofit’s mission using 6 words or less.

It’s a great exercise to engage your brain and think about it in a new way.

Every word counts. Choose them carefully.

 

I’d love to know what you came up with! Click on “Comment” and tell us both your old way of describing your nonprofit and the new one.  Who knows, you might just win a prize!

Cut  Swiss Cheese
You want to raise a lot of money so your nonprofit can change more lives.

You like the Get Fully Funded philosophy of playing and thinking big. You’d love nothing more than to raise so much money that you can completely serve everyone who needs you and maybe work yourself out of a job.

But when you look around at the money you’re bringing in, it just isn’t enough. You’re not quite making goals.  What gives?

Here’s the answer. You’ve got holes in your fundraising.

Yep, just like Swiss cheese, your fundraising is missing a few things.

How do you know? You aren’t raising all the money you need. And you know in your gut something is off, but you can’t quite put your finger on it.

You can’t see the forest for the trees. You’re the hairdresser trying to cut her own hair. You just don’t have the perspective you need.

I bet you have one or more of these going on:

  1. Everything seems to take longer than it should, mostly because you have no systems in place and you’re spending a lot of time reinventing the wheel.
  2. You’re so focused on getting new donors in the door you aren’t paying attention to the ones who are leaving, so you’re in a constant churn, always hunting for new supporters.
  3. You’re trying various fundraising strategies, but not seeing the results you want. Your last letter didn’t generate nearly the response you expected, and you aren’t sure what to do about it. And you just can’t seem to totally fill your events, even though lots of people seem to enjoy them.
  4. You’re sending out newsletters and email blasts, and posting on Facebook, but no one is responding. Surely one person would comment on your brilliant words?

You want to know what’s really going on?

You’re too focused on the money.

But wait, don’t you need money to operate?

Yes, you do. But not at the expense of losing the donor and the relationship you have with them.

Back up and look at everything you’ve been doing through the eyes of your donor. What do you see?

  • Are you sharing heart-warming stories that stir their heart and move them to give?
  • Are your communications going two ways? Do you make it simple and easy for them to contact you? Is your email or phone number easy to find?
  • Is it easy to give to your nonprofit?
  • Are they thanked immediately, in a warm and sincere way?

Even if your cause is the best one in town, you won’t fully fund your programs if you ignore your donor’s feelings.

People want to feel good about their gift to your nonprofit. Do whatever it takes to give them that.

Build trust at every turn. Don’t give your donors ANY reason to be dissatisfied with you.

Carve out some time and have an objective look at your fundraising efforts. Plug the holes. Then get back out there and try again. Chances are good you’ll see your results increase.

And if you need help, let us know. Our team is great at finding your holes and giving you solid ideas to fill them up. In fact, sometimes we find million-dollar opportunities! Email Sandy at sandy@getfullyfunded.com to set up a time to talk.